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Enchanting Edinburgh is a city of two halves, but both sides of the city are equally appealing. The medieval Old Town is an inviting network of winding, narrow lanes that run up and down hills, ending at stunning Edinburgh Castle, which watches proudly over the city. The main thoroughfare through the Old Town is the Royal Mile, linking the castle at one end with the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other.

The whole of the Old Town is filled with a jumble of cafes, bars, boutiques, pubs and historic buildings, crying out to be explored. To the south is the expansive National Museum of Scotland, containing excellent exhibitions on Scottish history and heritage.

To the north of town, the New Town was created in the eighteenth century to relieve over-crowding in what is now the Old Town. It is an elegant collection of Georgian crescents, squares and circuses and beautiful neo-classical architecture.

For panoramic views over the city, wander through wonderful Holyrood Park to climb to the top of Arthur’s seat (823 feet) or ascend the more diminutive Carlton Hill, right in the heart of the New Town.

In August, Edinburgh is almost entirely taken over by a variety of festivals, including the famous Edinburgh Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Another famous Edinburgh event is Hogmany, the huge street party that takes place in the centre of the city every New Year’s Eve.

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  • Take a look at our Great British History itinerary